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Judicial Watch Files Civil Rights Lawsuit for High School Teacher Fired for Facebook Posts Criticizing Chicago Riots, HHS Redacts Fauci Email, & Much More!

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Judicial Watch Files Civil Rights Lawsuit for High School Teacher Fired for Facebook Posts Criticizing Chicago Riots, Looting, and Violence in the Aftermath of George Floyd Killing

Judicial Watch announced recently that it has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Palatine, Illinois tenured high school teacher Jeanne Hedgepeth, who was fired by the suburban-Chicago school district where she had worked for 20 years after posting comments on Facebook criticizing the riots, violence, and shootings in Chicago in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, killing of George Floyd.

HHS Redacts Fauci Email on Funding Recommendation and Hides WHO Information in Judicial Watch/Daily Caller Lawsuit For COVID-19/China/WHO Communications

“The American people have every right to know key information on our government’s role in COVID,” said Neil Patel, Daily Caller News Foundation publisher. “This sort of hiding, dodging and stonewalling is one reason why trust in national authorities is near all-time lows.”

Judicial Watch to Court: Gender Quota Requirement for Corporate Boards is Gender Discrimination

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on August 6, 2019, on behalf of three California taxpayers. The 2018 law, known as Senate Bill 826, requires every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. The law requires corporations have up to three such persons on their boards by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board. The taxpayers challenging the provision claim that the quota violates the Equal Protection clause of the California Constitution.

Investigative Bulletin


Outrageous Hyperbole and Democrat Power Grabs: Big Win at Supreme Court Signals Election Battles Ahead

Judicial Watch experts were up on Capitol Hill earlier this month explaining the implications of a big 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in the fierce battle for clean elections. The immediate issues in Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona, v. Democratic National Committee et al revolved around out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting. Should the Arizona practices be banned?

In The News


The Washington Times: DOJ’s Georgia lawsuit is a weaponized version of critical race theory

There’s more – and less – than meets the eye regarding the recent Department of Justice lawsuit filed against Georgia’s new election integrity law. The complaint alleges that several provisions of SB 202 were passed with a discriminatory purpose in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Washington Times: Teacher fired for criticizing deadly riots in Chicago files civil rights lawsuit

A Chicago-area teacher has filed a civil rights lawsuit against her former school district, which fired her after she criticized deadly Black Lives Matter riots in Chicago last year on her personal Facebook page. Jeanne Hedgepeth, who taught for roughly 20 years at Palatine High School in Illinois, commented on the violent Black Lives Matter riots that occurred across the country after George Floyd, a Black man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Judicial Watch: Judicial Watch Fights For Election Integrity on Capitol Hill

Judicial Watch remains front and center in the fight for clean elections. From the historic election integrity victory in LA County, to the current election-related lawsuits against Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Colorado, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton reminded Weekly Update viewers Friday that “Judicial Watch is on the ball and on the march in favor of the rule of law.”

Video Highlights


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Judicial Watch’s Senior Attorney Russell Nobile to Testify in Front of Congress in Hearing on the Need to Enhance the Voting Rights Act

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today Senior Attorney Russell Nobile will testify in front of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in a hearing titled, The Need to Enhance the Voting Rights Act: Practice-Based Coverage on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 2:30PM. 

The testimony will be streamed live on the Judicial Watch website

The hearing is before U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties 

Date:               Tuesday, July 27, 2021 

Time:              2:30PM 

Location:       Rayburn House Office Building Room 2141

Mr. Nobile’s testimony will focus on new legislative efforts by Democrats in Congress that would effectively result in a federal takeover of election management and empower the Justice Department to veto voter ID and other widely-used election integrity measures.  From 2006 to 2012, he worked as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section, which is responsible for enforcing all provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

Judicial Watch is the leader in issues of election integrity and has taken this issue directly to Congress. Judicial Watch attorneys Robert Popper and Russell Nobile addressed the two houses of Congress on the importance of maintaining and protecting strong election security measures and have previously testified before both the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution,

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Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation File Amended Lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Lightfoot for Discriminating against White Journalists

Lawsuit Continues As Mayor Tells New York Times She “Would Absolutely Do It Again”

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced it filed an amended complaint in its lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation and reporter Thomas Catenacci against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for violating their First Amendment rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division after Catenacci, a white male, emailed Lightfoot’s office requesting a one-on-one interview with the mayor and the office failed to reply to the request or Catenacci’s two additional follow-up emails (Catenacci et al v. Lightfoot (No. 1:21-cv-02852)).

“Mayor Lightfoot discriminated against journalists based on their race,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch has repeatedly requested that Lightfoot sign a consent decree agreeing not to use race-based criteria for interview requests for the remainder of her time in office. Not only did her lawyers ignore these requests, in a recent interview, an unrepentant Lightfoot told a New York Times writer, ‘I would absolutely do it again. I’m unapologetic about it because it spurred a very important conversation, a conversation that needed to happen, that should have happened a long time ago’”

“I cannot believe that Mayor Lightfoot told the New York Times reporter that she would absolutely discriminate against reporters again based on their race,” said Thomas Catenacci. “If she isn’t stopped, what’s next?”

“A policy of granting interviews based on the color of a reporter’s skin isn’t merely discriminatory, it undercuts the foundational principles of freedom of the press,” said DCNF acting editor in chief Thomas Phippen. “That Mayor Lightfoot is ‘unapologetic’ about her policy speaks volumes.”

In May, Lightfoot’s office informed multiple reporters that she would grant one-on-one interviews, “only to Black or Brown journalists.” The next day, the mayor released a letter doubling down on her discriminatory policy.

The amended complaint explains:

On May 18, 2021, a Chicago reporter tweeted that Mayor Lightfoot’s spokesperson informed her that the mayor “is granting 1 on 1 interviews – only to Black or Brown journalists.” Mayor Lightfoot subsequently released a letter stating, “By now, you have heard the news that on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as Mayor of this great City, I will be exclusively providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color.” Neither Mayor Lightfoot nor her spokesperson suggested that the mayor’s new, race-based interview policy was not permanent or identified any time limit on how long the mayor intended to use race-based criteria for granting interview requests.

Judicial Watch points out that Lightfoot’s communications director testified that the mayor used race-based criteria for granting interview requests for two days, May 19 and 20, and did not grant any interview requests to White reporters. Moreover, the mayor’s office has yet to respond to Catenacci’s request nor has the mayor agreed to an interview with him.

Mayor Lightfoot’s response to the lawsuit is due by August 2, 2021.

Christine Svenson of Svenson Law Offices in Palatine, Illinois, is assisting Judicial Watch with the lawsuit.

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Outrageous Hyperbole and Democrat Power Grabs: Big Win at Supreme Court Signals Election Battles Ahead

Judicial Watch experts were up on Capitol Hill earlier this month explaining the implications of a big 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in the fierce battle for clean elections. The immediate issues in Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona, v. Democratic National Committee et al  revolved around out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting. Should the Arizona practices be banned?

But both sides are hunting bigger game in the high-stakes case: Section Two of the Voting Rights Act. The standards set in Brnovich will impact a wide array of hot-button state election issues around the nation, including redistricting, voter ID, mail-in ballots, same-day registration, proof required for registration, early voting , third-party collection of ballots, and when polls can close on election day.

Reacting to the July 1 High Court ruling, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called it “a home run for cleaner elections, reaffirming that states may take action to prevent election fraud without waiting for it to occur within their own borders. This new decision rightly rejects the race baiting of the leftist partisans who pretend that neutral provisions to combat voter fraud (such as voter ID and bans on ballot harvesting) are presumptively racist.”

The Left went bonkers over Brnovich. President Biden called it a “broad assault against voting rights.”  The New York Times editorial board said it was an “attack on democracy.” A Washington Post columnist said the decision leaves “voters of color increasingly vulnerable to efforts to exclude them from our democracy.”

Testifying before Capitol Hill committees two weeks later, Judicial Watch experts set the record straight. Judicial Watch Election Integrity Project Director Robert Popper condemned the “outrageous hyperbole” of critics of the Brnovich decision.

Popper noted that Section Two of the Voting Rights Act had given rise in recent years to extreme lawsuits challenging “ordinary-seeming regulations—and changes to such regulations—governing, for example, the use of absentee ballots, in-precinct voting, early voting, voter ID laws, election observers same-day registration, durational residency requirements, and straight-ticket voting.” In a less highly charged political time, Popper noted, the 2005 bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission Report “had expressly noted the need for such regulations, including those regarding absentee ballots, out-of-precinct voting, early voting, in-person ID requirements, and election observers.”

One example of Section Two abuse? In the Husted case, a district court ruled that an Ohio law decreasing the early voting period from 35 to 29 days violated the Voting Rights Act because the change interacted with “historical and social conditions” afflicting minority voters.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision. It noted that the loss of one week of early voting was, at worst, a minor contraction of “one of the many conveniences that have generously facilitated voting participation in Ohio.” The appeals court also noted that thirteen states did not “permit any early in-person voting days.”

The Carter-Baker Commission recommendations and Husted are examples that should be kept in mind when assessing the hyperbole from the Left surrounding Brnovich and current challenges to election regulations, Popper noted.

Popper told Congress: “One hears—and large news outlets dutifully report— that there is a ‘tsunami’ of legislation ‘restricting the right to vote,’ that states reforming their mail-in voting laws as COVID retreats are engaged in ‘voter suppression,’ and even that these actions represent ‘the new Jim Crow.’ These claims are preposterous. At best, they reveal a startling historical ignorance. The grandfather laws, absurd literacy tests, poll taxes, intimidation and terroristic violence of the Jim Crow era have nothing whatever to do with, say, Ohio’s restriction of early voting from 35 to 29 days, or with limiting same-day registration. Nor do they have anything to do with regulating absentee ballots, out-of-precinct voting, or voter ID requirements, all reasonable electoral integrity measures approved by the Carter-Baker Commission. At worst these statements reveal a startling cynicism, driven by a desire to inflame passions—and to raise funds.”

Popper testified before a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on July 16. Two days earlier, Judicial Watch Senior Attorney Russell Nobile spoke to a Senate subcommittee. Looking ahead, both men warned of trouble in the post-Brnovich landscape.

“In particular,” Popper noted, the Democrats’ top election bill priority in Congress—HR 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act—“is a bad idea.” It gives the attorney general “new, unchecked power” to sue directly for violations of the Constitution. The new powers likely would be centered in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department which, Popper warned, “has in the past proved to be a hotbed of partisanship.”

Russell Nobile noted in his Senate testimony that the “truth is that HR 4 goes far beyond any civil rights law enacted during the height of the civil rights era. Rather, it is part of a grander plan to shift control of American elections away from individual state legislatures and into the hands of a single federal bureaucratic department.” You can read more from Nobile on HR 4 and the looming election integrity crisis in this Judicial Watch report.

Nobile also noted problems at the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, where both he and Popper served earlier in their careers. Citing the recent “tremendous debate” over Critical Race Theory (CRT)—the Marxism-rooted ideology insisting that American democracy is suffused to its core by racism and must be dismantled—Nobile said that “there are few places in the federal government that are more dominated by the assumptions that underlie CRT. The partisanship and hostility towards staff that do not share the same assumptions is startling” and includes, from some, “a shocking level of intolerance.”

Nobile warns that even within highly political Washington, “the culture of the Voting Section stands out for its partisanship. Any legislation that shifts greater federal power to the Department’s Voting Section will make elections worse, not better.”

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Read Robert Popper’s statement to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties here.

Read Russell Nobile’s statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution here.

Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch. Follow him on Twitter @micah_morrison. Tips: [email protected]

Investigative Bulletin is published by Judicial Watch. Reprints and media inquiries: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is Fauci Hiding? | Judicial Watch

Biden Administration Redacts Fauci and WHO Emails on COVID-19
Judicial Watch Defends Teacher Fired for Facebook Posts Criticizing Violence after Criticizing BLM Riots

Judicial Watch to Court: Gender Quota for Corporate Boards Violates California’s Constitution

Biden Administration Redacts Fauci and WHO Emails on COVID-19

Why does the federal government not want the public to know what Dr. Anthony Fauci or the World Health Organization were communicating about COVID-19?

In May 2020 we sued the Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) for emails about COVID-19, China, and WHO.

The last response of 311 pages of records includes heavily redacted communications from Dr. Fauci and WHO regarding COVID-19.

Certain Fauci emails were redacted, including his personal edits to a COVID-related federal appropriations measure. Emails sent from the WHO were also redacted under a trade secrets exemption.

In a letter with the documents, HHS Freedom of Information Act Officer Gorka Garcia-Malene notes that:

[Freedom of Information Act] Exemption 4 protects from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information that is privileged and confidential. Exemption 5 [under which the Fauci email is redacted] permits the withholding of internal government records which are predecisional and contain staff advice, opinion, and recommendations.

We received the records in response to our May 2020 FOIA lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the DCNF (Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:20-cv-01149)). The lawsuit was filed after HHS failed to respond to the DCNF’s April 1, 2020, FOIA request asking for:

Communications between Dr. Fauci and Deputy Director Lane and World Health Organization officials concerning the novel coronavirus.

Communications of Dr. Fauci and Deputy Director Lane concerning WHO, WHO official Bruce Aylward, WHO Director General Tedros Anhanom, and China.

“The American people have every right to know key information on our government’s role in COVID,” said Neil Patel, Daily Caller News Foundation publisher. “This sort of hiding, dodging and stonewalling is one reason why trust in national authorities is near all-time lows.”

Fauci’s agency is in stonewall mode – and has granted the corrupted WHO a special secrecy exemption from FOIA. In my experience, government secrecy is rarely invoked for good faith reasons – which means that Fauci and his agency should be examined closely. 

Judicial Watch Defends Teacher Fired for Facebook Posts Criticizing Violence after Criticizing BLM Riots

The Left has directly or indirectly seized control of many local governing bodies, particularly school boards and school districts, and it’s using this authority to stifle the First Amendment. 

We filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Palatine, Illinois, tenured high school teacher Jeanne Hedgepeth, who was fired by the suburban-Chicago school district where she had worked for 20 years after posting comments on Facebook criticizing the riots, violence, and shootings in Chicago in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, killing of George Floyd. 

Hedgepeth made the posts on her personal Facebook page while vacationing after the end of the school year, just as some of the most severe violence was occurring. In her posts, Hedgepeth recommended studying Thomas Sowell, whom she described as a “treasure” and a “truth seeker,” and praised political commentator and activist Candice Owens and talk show host Larry Elder. She alleges that the firing violated her First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeks damages from the school district, Township High School District 211, and district board members and officials who participated directly in the firing (Hedgepeth v. Britton et al. (Case No. 1:21-cv-03890)). We are being assisted by attorney Christine Svenson of Palatine, Illinois.

The lawsuit explains:

In late May and early June 2020, Hedgepeth was vacationing in Florida after the end of the 2019-20 school year when violent street protests, rioting, looting, and shootings erupted in Chicago and many other U.S. cities in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by Minneapolis police officers. In Chicago alone, 82 persons were shot, 19 fatally, over the May 30-31, 2020 weekend. On May 31, 2020, which the Chicago Sun Times described as the most violent day Chicago had seen in 60 years, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked Governor J.B. Pritzker to deploy the Illinois National Guard in the city.

That same day, May 31, 2020, Hedgepeth posted the following photos of herself on the beach in Florida along with the comment, “I don’t want to go home tomorrow. Now that the civil war has begun I want to move.”

An individual responded, “Follow your gut! Move!!!!!!!!!”  Hedgepeth answered, “I need a gun and training.” The individual replied, “me too!”

Another individual posted a meme that same day suggesting that the riots could be stopped with a septic tank truck and a pressure cannon. Hedgepeth reposted the meme, obviously in jest, adding, “You think this would work?”

On or about June 1, 2020, Hedgepeth posted the following comment on Facebook in the course of an exchange of posts begun the previous day with a third individual:

I am about facts, truth seeking and love. I will speak on any topic I choose because I live in a free country. I find the term “white privilege” as racist as the “N” word. You have not walked in my shoes either so do not make assumptions about me and my so called privilege. You think America is racist? Then you have been hoodwinked by the white liberal establishment and race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Travel the world and go see that every nation has racism and some more than others but few make efforts such as we do to mitigate or eliminate it. I have lived and seen. The people I am informed by about the black experience in America are actually some of the smartest people in America. And it so happens they are black. I highly recommend studying Thomas Sowell, who is now retired and in his 80’s. A treasure. A truth seeker. [D]oes REAL research and analysis. Candice Owens is one of the smartest and most courageous women in America and Larry Elders speaks the truth with a great sense of humor and FACTS not feelings. They are who I listen to when it comes to facts about the black experience in America. Don’t you think there is a deeper problem than racism when 50% of murders in America are committed by 13% of the population? Do you think there might be a subtle genocide of black babies when most planned parenthoods are put in poor neighborhoods and that 30% of abortions are black babies. [B]lack women only make up 7% of the U.S. population. The greatest power you have is what you believe about yourself. [W]hat have Democrats, mainstream media and intellectuals in ivory towers been telling the black community to believe about themselves for forty years? Wake up and stop believing them, then things will change.

All of Hedgepeth’s posts were on her personal Facebook page. None of Hedgepeth’s posts identified her as a teacher or a District 211 employee, nor did Hedgepeth post them in her capacity as a teacher or a District 211 employee. None of the persons with whom Hedgepeth exchanged Facebook posts were current District 211 or Palatine High School teachers, staff, or students.

Upon returning from her vacation in early June 2020, Hedgepeth learned that the school district was investigating her for her Facebook posts. She was fired by the school board six weeks later, on July 16, 2020, by a vote of 5-2. In her defense, Hedgepeth noted that the posts were on her personal Facebook page and were made “out of school.” She also expressly invoked her First Amendment rights.

The school district took what could have been a teachable moment about respecting diversity of viewpoints and turned it into a clear civil rights violation. Jeanne Hedgepeth had every right to express herself freely and openly on her personal Facebook page, outside of school, about matters of undeniable public concern. 

Firing her for opposing lawlessness, speaking out about gun rights, praising black conservatives, and criticizing Democrats and tenets of Critical Racial Theory violated the First Amendment, and the school district and district officials who did so will be held accountable.

Ms. Hedgepeth noted on Fox News this week that she couldn’t find a lawyer to help her until Judicial Watch came along. You can see how your support of Judicial Watch not only helps us keep watch and expose government corruption here in DC but helps protect the civil rights of everyday American citizens!

Judicial Watch to Court: Gender Quota for Corporate Boards Violates California’s Constitution

The leftists controlling California legislature has gone quota crazy, wrapping themselves into an unconstitutional, discriminatory pretzel.

You can see this directly in our motion for summary judgment asking a California court to rule that the State’s quota for women on corporate boards is unconstitutional and to permanently enjoin any expenditure of taxpayer funds on the quota. The filings come in the case Robin Crest et al. v. Alex Padilla (No.19STCV27561)).

We filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on August 6, 2019, on behalf of three California taxpayers. The 2018 law, known as Senate Bill 826, requires every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. The law requires corporations have up to three such persons on their boards by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board. The taxpayers challenging the provision claim that the quota violates the Equal Protection clause of the California Constitution.

In July 2020, the court cleared the way for the case to proceed, holding that our clients had standing under state law to sue.

We argue:

There can be no doubt that SB 826 employs a suspect classification – gender – to differentiate between similarly situated persons – current and prospective members of corporate boards. The Legislature has decided that there are not enough women on corporate boards for its liking, so it has enacted SB 826, which requires that corporations have a minimum number of women on their boards. SB 826 treats current and prospective board members not as individuals, but as members of two groups based on their gender. Women may compete for every position on a corporation’s board, yet men are excluded from competing for those positions reserved for women. No matter how strong a male candidate’s qualifications might be, he is never afforded the opportunity to compete with female candidates for every board position available, but instead must compete only for those board positions for which there is no gender preference. In this regard, SB 826 creates the same type of quota system for seats on corporate boards that was found to be unconstitutional for seats in the medical school class at issue in Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke (1978) 438 U.S. 265, 319-20 (“Bakke”).

Countering the State’s claim that the quota is necessary to “boost the California economy,” “improve opportunities for women in the workplace,” and “protect California taxpayers, shareholders, and retirees,” we argue:

The requirement of necessity is also absent.  Does California really need to impose a gender-based quota on corporate boards to improve its economy? To improve opportunities for women in the workplace?  To protect taxpayers, shareholders, and retirees or improve corporate sustainability or preserve public confidence? Are the tools available to the Legislature really so weak or so limited that it must resort to gender discrimination to achieve these goals?  To state such a claim is to refute it. Nothing in SB 826’s legislative findings or legislative history demonstrate that the Legislature had to resort to a gender-based quota system out of necessity to achieve its goals.

We also argue:

Diversity for diversity’s sake is never constitutional. “‘Preferring members of any one group for no reason other than race or ethnic origin is discrimination for its own sake. This the Constitution forbids.’” (Connerly, 92 Cal. App. 4th at 34 (quoting Bakke, 438 U.S. at 307.)) ….

Defendant’s “diversity for diversity’s sake” argument will not save SB 826’s blatantly unconstitutional quota. And of course, asserting that more women on corporate boards will add diversity merely perpetuates gender-based stereotypes about both men and women.

We also demonstrated that the State could provide no evidence of specific, past discrimination by the corporations subject to the law in selecting board members:

The Legislature made no effort to identify specific past or present victims of alleged discrimination or to identify specific perpetrators of such discrimination. No specific victims or perpetrators were identified in SB 826’s legislative findings, and Defendant was unable to identify any such victims or perpetrators in response to interrogatories seeking this specific information…. In response to an interrogatory asking Defendant to identify specific victims of discrimination, Defendant responded generically, identifying “women,” “corporations,” “California taxpayers and retirees,” and “shareholders and investors” as well as “the economy.” … Because SB 826 is not actually remedial and does not restore victims of alleged discrimination to the position they would have occupied absent the discrimination, and because no effort has been made to limit SB 826’s “remedy” to such victims, SB 826 cannot withstand strict scrutiny. Indeed, the blunt instrument of a quota is unlikely to ever satisfy this standard.

In signing SB 826 in September 2018, then-Governor Brown wrote that “serious legal concerns have been raised” to the legislation. “I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation.” He signed the bill anyway, noting, “Nevertheless, recent events in Washington, D.C. – and beyond – make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.”

There are currently 625 publicly traded corporations headquartered in California that are subject to the quota. In a March 2020 report, California’s Secretary of State identified 282 corporations that reported compliance with the quota.

Not a single dime of California’s taxpayer’s money should be going to support a law that requires sex discrimination. The ‘Women on Corporate Boards’ statute is not only unconstitutional, but morally wrong. Our California taxpayer clients are asking the courts to uphold California’s Constitution which prohibits sex discrimination.

In September 2020, we also filed a related taxpayer lawsuit to prevent California from enforcing Assembly Bill 979, which requires the same corporation subject to the gender-based quota also satisfy racial, ethnic, sexual preference and transgender status quotas by the end of the 2021 calendar year

In January 2021, we filed a public comment with the Securities and Exchange Commission in response to a proposed rule change requiring race and gender quotas on the boards of corporations listed on the Nasdaq exchange.

Until next week …

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Teacher fired for criticizing deadly riots in Chicago files civil rights lawsuit

From The Washington Times:

A Chicago-area teacher has filed a civil rights lawsuit against her former school district, which fired her after she criticized deadly Black Lives Matter riots in Chicago last year on her personal Facebook page.

Jeanne Hedgepeth, who taught for roughly 20 years at Palatine High School in Illinois, commented on the violent Black Lives Matter riots that occurred across the country after George Floyd, a Black man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

In Chicago, 82 people were shot, and 19 died over that weekend.

Read More Here.

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DOJ’s Georgia lawsuit is a weaponized version of critical race theory

From The Washington Times:

There’s more – and less – than meets the eye regarding the recent Department of Justice lawsuit filed against Georgia’s new election integrity law. The complaint alleges that several provisions of SB 202 were passed with a discriminatory purpose in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The complaint relies heavily on the implication that Georgia is an inherently racist state. A DOJ press release refers to “Georgia’s history of discrimination against Black Georgians, demographic shifts in the state leading to an increase in the number of Black voters and other voters of color,” as well as “Black Georgians’ unprecedented recent successes in electing candidates of choice.” The lawsuit decries the state’s “history of racially polarized voting” and that many “elected officials in Georgia have not been responsive to the particularized needs of Black residents.” Even raising the question of fraud is evidence of racism, the lawsuit submits.

Read More Here.

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Judicial Watch Fights For Election Integrity on Capitol Hill

Data, not pop culture nor hyperbole … tells the truth about ballot access in America.

Judicial Watch remains front and center in the fight for clean elections. From the historic election integrity victory in LA County, to the current election-related lawsuits against Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Colorado, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton reminded Weekly Update viewers Friday that “Judicial Watch is on the ball and on the march in favor of the rule of law.” 

“We are facing a crisis,” Fitton explained. ”The Left … wants to severely restrict the abilities of the states to manage their own elections.” “They want to undo virtually every clean election law in this country,” he continued. “Under their agenda … they would ban all voter ID, impose ballot harvesting, and undermine the very notion of election integrity.” While these are concerning developments, Fitton reminded viewers that there is hope. “The Supreme Court issued a knockout blow to the Left’s tsunami of harassing lawsuits challenging virtually any effort by any state to modestly increase the security of elections and minimize the impact of voter fraud.” In fact, in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, Fitton believes the Left has become “desperate to short circuit the efforts of states to implement security measures such as voter ID.” 

Ignoring the partisan fray, Judicial Watch has taken the issue directly to Congress. Testifying  before both the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Judicial Watch attorneys Robert Popper and Russell Nobile addressed the two houses of Congress on the importance of maintaining and protecting strong election security measures. As two former federal officials who were tasked with enforcing election integrity measures at the Department of Justice, Popper and Nobile used historical evidence to support Voter ID laws and to dispel “pop culture” notions of reduced voting access across the United States. Quoting Russel Nobile’s Senate testimony, Fitton explained that “data, not pop culture nor hyperbole from those that oppose race-neutral election integrity laws, tells the truth about ballot access in America.” 

I can’t tell you how proud I am of our team … I encourage you to go watch their testimony!” Fitton concluded. Make sure to click here for Robert Popper’s testimony and here to hear Russell Nobile. If you’re concerned about the Left’s attack on election integrity, support Judicial Watch today. 

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Judicial Watch files civil rights lawsuit for teacher fired after criticizing violent left-wing riots

From Fox News:

Judicial Watch has filed a First Amendment lawsuit on behalf of an Illinois teacher who was fired after criticizing the rioting, looting and other violence that broke out in Chicago after the death of George Floyd last May.

Jeanne Hedgepeth, of Palatine, 35 miles northwest of Willis Tower, made the posts on her personal Facebook account while on summer break following the end of the school year, the conservative legal group said in a statement. She did not exchange posts with any current students or colleagues, and the profile made no mention of her employer.

Floyd was killed on May 25 in an incident that was recorded on video and led to a conviction on murder charges for one of the four Minneapolis police officers involved. Three others are still awaiting trial.

In the days that followed, protests and riots broke out around the country. That weekend in Chicago, which saw extensive looting, 82 people were shot, 19 fatally. The Chicago Sun-Times described that Sunday, May 31, as the most violent day the Windy City had seen in 60 years.

“I don’t want to go home tomorrow,” Hedgepeth wrote on Facebook that day, while vacationing in Florida. “Now that the civil war has begun I want to move.”

Read More Here.

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Judicial Watch Files Civil Rights Lawsuit for High School Teacher Fired for Facebook Posts Criticizing Chicago Riots, Looting, and Violence in the Aftermath of George Floyd Killing

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Palatine, Illinois tenured high school teacher Jeanne Hedgepeth, who was fired by the suburban-Chicago school district where she had worked for 20 years after posting comments on Facebook criticizing the riots, violence, and shootings in Chicago in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, killing of George Floyd. Hedgepeth made the posts on her personal Facebook page while vacationing after the end of the school year, just as some of the most severe violence was occurring. In her posts, Hedgepeth recommended studying Thomas Sowell, whom she described as a “treasure” and a “truth seeker,” and praised political commentator and activist Candice Owens and talk show host Larry Elder. She alleges that the firing violated her First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeks damages from the school district, Township High School District 211, and district board members and officials who participated directly in the firing (Hedgepeth v. Britton et al. (Case No. 1:21-cv-03890)).

The lawsuit explains: 

In late May and early June 2020, Hedgepeth was vacationing in Florida after the end of the 2019-20 school year when violent street protests, rioting, looting, and shootings erupted in Chicago and many other U.S. cities in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by Minneapolis police officers. In Chicago alone, 82 persons were shot, 19 fatally, over the May 30-31, 2020 weekend. On May 31, 2020, which the Chicago Sun Times described as the most violent day Chicago had seen in 60 years, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked Governor J.B. Pritzker to deploy the Illinois National Guard in the city.  

That same day, May 31, 2020, Hedgepeth posted the following photos of herself on the beach in Florida along with the comment, “I don’t want to go home tomorrow. Now that the civil war has begun I want to move.”

An individual responded, “Follow your gut! Move!!!!!!!!!”  Hedgepeth answered, “I need a gun and training.” The individual replied, “me too!”

Another individual posted a meme that same day suggesting that the riots could be stopped with a septic tank truck and a pressure cannon. Hedgepeth reposted the meme, obviously in jest, adding, “You think this would work?”

On or about June 1, 2020, Hedgepeth posted the following comment on Facebook in the course of an exchange of posts begun the previous day with a third individual:

I am about facts, truth seeking and love. I will speak on any topic I choose because I live in a free country. I find the term “white privilege” as racist as the “N” word. You have not walked in my shoes either so do not make assumptions about me and my so called privilege. You think America is racist? Then you have been hoodwinked by the white liberal establishment and race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.  Travel the world and go see that every nation has racism and some more than others but few make efforts such as we do to mitigate or eliminate it. I have lived and seen. The people I am informed by about the black experience in America are actually some of the smartest people in America.  And it so happens they are black. I highly recommend studying Thomas Sowell, who is now retired and in his 80’s. A treasure. A truth seeker. [D]oes REAL research and analysis. Candice Owens is one of the smartest and most courageous women in America and Larry Elders speaks the truth with a great sense of humor and FACTS not feelings. They are who I listen to when it comes to facts about the black experience in America.  Don’t you think there is a deeper problem than racism when 50% of murders in America are committed by 13% of the population? Do you think there might be a subtle genocide of black babies when most planned parenthoods are put in poor neighborhoods and that 30% of abortions are black babies. [B]lack women only make up 7% of the U.S. population. The greatest power you have is what you believe about yourself. [W]hat have Democrats, mainstream media and intellectuals in ivory towers been telling the black community to believe about themselves for forty years? Wake up and stop believing them, then things will change.

All of Hedgepeth’s posts were on her personal Facebook page. None of Hedgepeth’s posts identified her as a teacher or a District 211 employee, nor did Hedgepeth post them in her capacity as a teacher or a District 211 employee. None of the persons with whom Hedgepeth exchanged Facebook posts were current District 211 or Palatine High School teachers, staff, or students.

Upon returning from her vacation in early June 2020, Hedgepeth learned that the school district was investigating her for her Facebook posts. She was fired by the school board six weeks later, on July 16, 2020, by a vote of 5-2. In her defense, Hedgepeth noted that the posts were on her personal Facebook page and were made “out of school.” She also expressly invoked her First Amendment rights.

“The school district took what could have been a teachable moment about respecting diversity of viewpoints and turned it into a clear civil rights violation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Jeanne Hedgepeth had every right to express herself freely and openly on her personal Facebook page, outside of school, about matters of undeniable public concern. Firing her for opposing lawlessness, speaking out about gun rights, praising black conservatives, and criticizing Democrats and tenets of Critical Racial Theory violated the First Amendment, and the school district and district officials who did so will be held accountable.”

Judicial Watch is being assisted by attorney Christine Svenson of Palatine, Illinois.

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